I’ve been quiet on the blog simply because I’ve had a major time crunch these last few weeks and decided to forego my online and social media activities while I prioritized the important stuff. (I know that sounds like, uh, duh, isn’t that what you should always be doing? And the answer is that I’ve been pretty terrible at this in the past and so going quiet was actually a calculated and concerted effort on my part to be a responsible adult with book contracts and clients and her own business so just let me have this okay.)
Anyhow, things have been really exciting lately, and because I was so responsible the last few weeks (I still managed to re-watch the first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender with a buddy, learn to play banjo, and attend like, three concerts, so “responsible” is a very flexible term in my case), I decided I could stop in and talk about some recent amusements.
I revised a book in a couple of days
I hope my agent isn’t reading this because I had the whole month to do it and I just… didn’t. I mean, I’d been slowly working on it all month (finagling this sentence, cherry-picking better vocabulary, slowly working my way through our horse-fact-checker’s notes), but not the way I should have been.
And remember #NaNoWriMo? Talk about a disaster. I got part of the way into one project before I had to re-prioritize and work on this other thing instead, and then all that talk of “50k words! woo hoo!” was out the window like dirty laundry after a bad breakup. So I managed about 30k words, maybe 35k, on two projects.
Then a bunch of work happened, and I got a new client, and there was life drama—before I knew it, the month was over and there I stood with only a few days left to go and a paper-clipped manuscript covered in notes about how horses are more likely to squeal (like something out of Young Frankenstein) instead of neigh when frightened, or how they’re referred to as “buckets” and not “bowls,” and I spent four days holed up at the 24-hour coffee shop working from 11am until 5am, sleeping for a few hours, asking my roommate to take care of me like I was an invalid, and then doing it all over again the next day.
(Do you know how much coffee that is? I could probably fill a small pond with it. It would be a really gross pond, I imagine. It would not sustain life.)
Then I went to Hawaii
Because that’s what you do, right? So actually, the story is that my grandfather owns a condo down here in Maui, but lives with his girlfriend and keeps the condo for family to stay in when they come visit. So for my birthday, my very generous, sweet, thoughtful father sent me down here for a week. “You are only allowed to write,” he said. “Nobody goes with you. You just write.”
Well, okay dad, if you insist. Twist my arm. Especially because I have a hot new project that I need to get done, pronto.
It’s lovely here (despite the ants, if you saw that all-caps, panicked tweet a few nights ago, or the most recent one about BURNING THAT DAMN COCKROACH THAT KEEPS GETTING INSIDE) and the time alone to work has been incredible.
All the projects in the world
So, this new thing. This YA thing sucking up most of my mental and physical energy. I love it. It’s spicy, it’s challenging, it’s fun and quirky and raw and edgy and all these other buzzwords that for once, actually appear to pertain to me.
And as with most things that are challenging, I spend a lot of time staring at a blank document, not writing. I posted about this to my Facebook—how epic of a job I was doing not-writing, despite all my efforts to the contrary. (So hilariously hypocritical after all those articles I’ve written about “Writer’s block is just in your head!” and “Just get writing, dammit!”)
“I miss the days before social media,” my agent said. “I read your post and gently wept.”
I haven’t played an instrument since I was 13
So I am learning how to play the banjo because I need a hobby (now that my hobby is my job—seriously, this is a peril) and it is very rewarding (banjo is the coolest-sounding instrument and makes me want to move to the middle of nowhere Appalachia with a bunch of dogs and an Airstream), though the one my friend is letting me use is pretty jankety and old and the D string sort of strangely reverberates. But I promise as soon as my rendition of “Hallelujah” isn’t quite as horrible, I’ll record it and post it for you.
Get your hands ready to cover your ears.
That’s it. I feel rather awful because I’ve lost touch with most of you the last month or so. So tell me: what deadlines are you ignoring by reading this?